A website bringing Luxembourg to you

“If you need something and you can’t find it, make it yourself.” This is the motto of Anneke Hudson, a former corporate banking lawyer in London, and Farrah Gillani, an English graduate from Cambridge and ex-marketing manager. They both made Luxembourg their permanent residence after many years of country hopping and together they founded City Savvy Luxembourg, an online magazine that provides information for people living in, or visiting, the world's only Grand Duchy.

Anneke and Farrah in front of the Statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte, symbol of national unity,  in Luxembourg City.

Anneke and Farrah in front of the Statue of Grand Duchess Charlotte, symbol of national unity,  in Luxembourg City.

The website publishes daily English articles covering expat essentials, Luxembourg life and style, local events, family, wellbeing and much more. It can tell you how to greet someone in Luxembourgish, what to do when (yet another) expat friend moves away, how the Luxembourgish school system works, where to get an authentic Thai meal and where to go in a medical emergency.

Filling the gap for expats

“When we arrived in Luxembourg, there was not that much information available for English speakers. We wanted something that combined useful information with light entertainment all pertaining to this wonderful little country we call home. What we soon came to realise was that lots of other people wanted that, too!”

It was a natural transition for the two expats to combine their experience in the business world with their passion for writing and their own newly acquired knowledge about moving to and living in Luxembourg. “We just love presenting accurate, relevant information in a clear and entertaining way, especially when it comes to the information we were missing when we first arrived,” the two entrepreneurs add.

Factual and emotional support

Indeed, it can be very lonely coming to a new country, especially when you don't speak any of the official languages, and Luxembourg has three of them (Luxembourgish, French and German). Anneke and Farrah have made it their mission to make people aware of the help and resources that do exist, from highly subsidised language lessons to English-speaking churches: “The aim is to make them feel at home both within the expat community and through integrating with the locals. We also have an expat counsellor for more specific issues, and who responds to our readers’ problems. Free advice is always welcome!”

Connecting readers with writers

To stay informed about relevant subjects, Anneke and Farrah get help from over twenty contributors who are all experts in their own field: a director of a theatre company to provide insight into the performing arts, foodies who provide informative restaurant reviews, a Luxembourger who has written a book to help English speakers learn Luxembourgish, plus many more talented writers. “We couldn’t do anything without them,” states Farrah.They also garner information from their readers who give them tips and hints on things that are happening. 

You might be surprised that the readers are actually not only expats, but basically anyone who understands English and has an interest in Luxembourg. Among the 10,000 readers a month are also tourists who are interested in city sights, people living all over the world who are curious about the Duchy and want to read articles like “The history of Luxembourgish”, and even some local Luxembourgers who want to find out about social events and top bars to go to after work.

Topics that matter

The most popular articles are the most useful ones and include listicles like the top playgrounds or swimming pools in Luxembourg, or where to buy organic and gluten free food, for example. These are well-liked by visitors to Luxembourg, people who live there and people who live in bordering Germany, France and Belgium. 

At the other end of the spectrum are more in-depth articles in the expat support section which focus on mental health issues and resonate hugely with readers, for example, an article on trailing spouses, who Anneke and Farrah like to call “trailblazing spouses” to paint a more realistic picture of the active role many expat spouses play during a move abroad. Other popular posts include interviews with extraordinary expats, people doing something a little different and doing it well, and inspiring stories from successful residents.

“Oh, and we also do giveaways, which our readers love!” Anneke exclaims. “Giving away event tickets is a great way to get people interested in the local culture and encourage them to socialise.”


Photo credits: Pippa Herbert

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